You probably lock your door or turn on an alarm system in part to protect your home tech—from smart TVs and baby monitors to computers and video game consoles.
But there's another way criminals can gain access to your favorite devices: your Wi-Fi. If hackers can breach your wireless network, they can take control of all your tech—and steal your personal and financial information.
Don't worry. There are some easy ways to make your Wi-Fi more secure. At Asurion, we help you get the most out of your tech—whether you want to boost your Wi-Fi speeds or learn some helpful tips for working from home. Here's how to keep your home Wi-Fi network safe.
Change your network name
Your router comes with a default name for your wireless network, and not changing it could make it easier for hackers to sneak onto your Wi-Fi.
To help keep your home network safe, create a name that doesn't include any personal information, like your name or birthday. The best network names are phrases or words that mean something to you, like a joke that only you and the people meant to access your network would know.
To change your network's name, log in to your Wi-Fi router's administrative page online or by downloading your router's app on your phone. To log in to the router's administrative page online, you'll need your Internet Protocol (IP) address. The address should be on your router or included with its printed materials, but you can also find it using your computer.
How to find your IP Address
Your router's IP address is an important piece of information you'll need to get to its administrative page and enable security changes.
How to find your IP address on Windows 10:
Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties.
How to find your IP address on Windows 11:
Go to Settings > Network & internet > Advanced network settings > Hardware and connection properties.
The number listed next to Default Gateway is your IP address.
How to find your IP address on Mac:
On Mac® computers running macOS® 10.5 or a newer operating system, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, then tap System Preferences > Network. With your home Wi-Fi highlighted on the left, your IP address will appear under “Status" on the right.
Technology has its risks...
But with Asurion Home+® protection and data security, we can help keep your personal information safe.
Create a unique password
Your router comes with a default password too; it's usually printed on the side or back of the device. But hackers might be able to find it online.
Changing the default password can help minimize the chances of someone breaking into your network. When creating a strong password, we recommend the following:
- Make sure your password is more than six characters long.
- Make sure it contains letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Make sure it contains a mix of upper and lowercase letters.
- Make sure it doesn't use sequential numbers.
- Make sure it doesn't contain easily obtainable public information, like your birthday or the name of your street.
You can change your network password from your Wi-Fi router's administrative page as well.
Keep your router up to date
Of all the things you can do to keep your home Wi-Fi network safe, updating your router is the easiest. Most routers update automatically when connected to the internet. To find out if yours does, head to your router's administrative settings page, where you can check for any software updates.
Set up a guest network
Having friends and family over? Want to give them access to Wi-Fi without sharing your password? It's simple. Just create a guest network.
Log in to the router's administrative page and follow the instructions to set up your guest network.
Turn on encryption
When you enter your credit card information online, your data moves from your computer to a server that processes it. Along the way, a hacker might be able to intercept your data. By turning on encryption on your router, however, you can hide that information as it moves between your computer and the server.
Don't worry, it's easy to do. Just follow these simple steps.
- Log into the router's administrative settings page.
- Find your router's wireless security settings.
- Change the encryption option to WPA2-PSK or WPA3-SAE if it's available. The latter is the new standard for home and small office encryption.
Activate your firewall
Firewalls are like digital checkpoints that keep an eye on what data comes in and out. They help prevent attacks and protect you if you already have a virus on a device connected to your wireless network.
Most home Wi-Fi routers come with firewalls built in—you just need to turn this feature on. To do so, log in to your router's administrative settings page and follow the instructions.
For an added layer of security, turn on your computer's firewall as well.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a tool that hides your location, browsing history, and identity from anyone trying to see what you're doing online. It's a must when you're using a public Wi-Fi network, like at an airport or a coffee shop. But it has added benefits for your home network as well.
The biggest one: A VPN makes it harder for advertisers to know what you're looking for online. If your VPN is turned on, that means you can shop online for a jacket and not worry about ads for it following you on Google® or Facebook®.
Weigh the pros and cons of smart devices
Some smart devices—like thermostats, sprinklers, and refrigerators—can save you money and make life easier. Cool, right?
But remember, they require access to your home Wi-Fi network, and some of these smart devices are less secure than, say, your phone or computer. Reputable brands have better built-in security features, but they could be a backdoor to your network and any device connected to it. If you build a smart home, make sure you take all necessary steps to ensure your personal data is kept safe.
Tech is expensive. Protect it all.
Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan. With Asurion Home+®, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 live support for your tech care needs—for less than $1 per day. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.